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Things to Do at Home While Schools are Closed

2020-03-04
With many schools closed for at least several weeks as Japan works to contain the spread of COVID-19, what are kids supposed to do with all that free time? And how are parents supposed to keep them busy and out of their hair?!
 
Of course, lots of schools will offer remote learning options during this time and there are plenty of options for education and enrichment otherwise. But it's inevitable that there will be hours to fill with entertaining and engaging activities. We've compiled some of our favorite ideas here to help parents out!
 
Reading
The silver lining to schools closing? Plenty of time to plow through a reading list or introduce your child to new characters or themes. Aside from just picking up a book and reading, there are plenty of ways to leverage this sudden free time to enhance literacy.
 
We've suggested it before, but the paper plate alphabet game remains a great one-two punch of education and activity for little kids. Alphabet yoga is also a good option for kids of all ages who might benefit from some quiet learning. Board games like Scrabble are always fun for the whole family, too.
 
While it may be tempting to loosen the reins on TV time and video game play time during these unexpected school closures, why not try to harness some of that game playing instead? From challenges based on popular TV shows to Mensa Foundation memberships, this list has some great ideas on how to make reading a fun game.
 
Getting your hands on new books regularly may be tough, but luckily you and the family can check out thousands of classics, new releases and more with audiobooks. There's no reason to get bored with your book collection over the next few weeks!
 
Math and Science
Knock out several learning opportunities and dinner at the same time! Baking and cooking are fun, productive ways to learn more about time, fractions and chemical reactions. Have the kids try their hands at some simple, novice-friendly recipes.
 
Indoor science experiments may sound like messy disasters waiting to happen. But, they are surefire ways to keep your kids entertained and maybe teach them a thing or two. These simple experiments are perfect for the budding scientist in your home.
 
The best math lessons are the ones that are fun and useful. Whip out on your classic board games, like Monopoly or Life, to involve the whole family while learning lessons about budgeting, taxes and life. There are tons of other fun games that also have sneaky lessons, too!
 
Physical Activity
 
When kids are used to running around on the playground with their school friends every day, it doesn't take long for their pent-up energy to overflow. As engaging as board games or arts and crafts can be, kids can definitely benefit from physical activity.
 
The weather's getting nicer, but even if you can't make it outdoors, you can still have freeze-dance parties, clean-up races or play balloon ball. This list from MommyPoppins has even more ideas! 
 
The perfect indoor activity for kids is one that also results in a clean bedroom, sorted laundry or organized toy bins. Make kids feel useful and give them an outlet for their energy by assigning regular daily chores. This Pinterest chart breaks down chores by age-appropriateness and we can't wait to print it out and hang it on the fridge! 
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